UK Looks To Boost Trade Relations with ASEAN

The UK aims to become a Dialogue Partner of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as part of its efforts to boost trade relations with regional blocs, the Foreign Office said on 5 June.

The UK is applying to become a Dialogue Partner of Southeast Asia’s main regional bloc to gain high-level access to ASEAN reinforced by deeper practical cooperation, alongside countries including the United States, China, and India.

“As Asia grows in importance, Global Britain will cooperate even more closely with our friends in the region. We aim to boost trade by joining the Trans-Pacific trade agreement. And by becoming one of ASEAN’s Dialogue Partners, we can strengthen our ability to cooperate across the Indo-Pacific region, as a force for good, on everything from climate change to regional stability,” said Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who signed the UK’s application for Dialogue Partner status.

The UK already has a special ambassador to ASEAN, as well as an embassy or High Commission in all 10 member states of Southeast Asia’s bloc.

“Our bid to become a Dialogue Partner is part of our long-standing and continued commitment to ASEAN,” UK Ambassador to ASEAN, Jon Lambe, said in a statement.

The UK has been a partner of ASEAN for more than 40 years, working jointly with the bloc in many areas, including economy, trade, politics, security, and culture, Ambassador Lambe said.

Dialogue Partner status would further build the UK’s strong relationships across the ASEAN region and reflects the strength and breadth of the UK offer to the organisation, the Foreign Office said.